HomeNewsWillow Lake in Evans refills with water, but the lake is still...

Willow Lake in Evans refills with water, but the lake is still in danger of collapse

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The Willow Lake in the Jones Creek subdivision has partially filled up again, pleasing neighbors. But the crumbling dam and refilled lake has government officials concerned.

Last month, crews drained the lake as part of an assessment to see how much repair would be needed for the dam and how much dredging of the lake would be needed. The vast mud hole left residents on Willow Lake exasperated.

Stephanie Walton complained about the draining, but as the weeks went by, she tried to make the best of it.

“My brain told me this is a way to be positive. You have a little stream back there,” Walton said.

Then crews partially closed a drainage pipe and rains last week filled the pond to a level about three feet below where it had been before.

“I’m super happy it’s back again,” Walton said.

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Kyle Titus is much more cautious. He is the chief engineer for Columbia County and last year sent a series of letters to Julian Saul, the owner of the lake and adjoining Jones Creek golf course, about danger of the dam collapsing.

His biggest worry is if a heavy rain filled the lake and the dam collapsed. It could wash out Furys Ferry Road between Southern Pines Drive and Millstone Drive, Titus said. The Georgia Department of Transportation is also tracking the deteriorating dam because Furys Ferry is a state road, Highway 28.

“We’ll give the owner an opportunity to address it and follow up if it is not addressed in a reasonable time,” Titus said.

Tripp Nanney, president of the Jones Creek Home Owners Association, said residents have been positive about the lake being partially refilled, but still are anxious to see a buyer for the golf course, which has sat unused and unmaintained for nearly four years.

Nanney has fielded a few calls from people who say they want to take a look at the course and perhaps consider buying it. They call him to gauge the support for the golf course in the neighborhood, he said.

“It doesn’t hurt that there’s a little golf tournament here,” he said, referring to the Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Joshua B. Good is a staff reporter covering Columbia County and military/veterans’ issues for The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected] 

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